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There are many plot devices used to spice up romantic k-drama stories, from social status differences to overly protective parents, from terminal illnesses to emotional trauma and baggage. One of the more intense is infidelity and infidelity.
Infidelity and infidelity aren’t just there to escalate tensions and heat up scenes. They also lead to exciting plot developments such as betrayal, revenge, and even a character’s will to kill.
Love affairs create intense drama between the betrayer and the betrayed, leaving viewers with mixed feelings about a series and its characters, ranging from sympathy to hate.
Here are our picks for the best K-Drama series that include infidelity, infidelity, cheating, and love affairs.
First on our list is the 2008 series that made us hate traitors, Temptation of Wife. It’s a typical rags to riches story, in which the (now rich) victim demands revenge on those who brought her down.
Goo Eun-jae (played by Jang Seo-hee) has a husband, Jung Gyo-bin (played by Byun Woo-min), who is having an affair with Shin Ae-ri (played by Kim Seo-hyung). Ae-ri was a sister-like figure to Eun-jae growing up together after being orphaned by an accident.
The husband deserves to suffer and be hated even more, not only because of his infidelity, but because he wanted Eun-jae to come back after she got rich and lived a comfortable life.
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The fantasy series The Legend of the Blue Sea isn’t all about infidelity, but it does contain a love affair that plays an important role in Heo Joon-jae’s (played by Lee Min-ho) character.
He became a badass cheater for leaving home after his father chose his mistress over his mother, who left home respectfully hoping that Joon-jae’s new mother would treat him well.
6. Two Wives (2009)
Amnesia was a common – even overused – plot device in the K-dramas era of the 1990s and 2000s, but Two Wives gave the term “second chance” a whole new meaning.
In this series, Kang Chul-soo (played by Kim Ho-jin) divorces his wife Yoon Young-hee (played by Kim Ji-young) and remarries Han Ji-sook (played by Son Tae-young), who Woman with whom he had a love affair behind his first wife’s back.
A tragic accident leaves Chul-soo with amnesia and believes he is still married to his first wife.
A battle for love is what spices up the historical drama Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo, starring a time traveler Hae-soo (played by IU), the fourth prince Wang So (played by Lee Joon-gi) and the eighth prince Wang Wook (played by Kang Ha-neul) is involved.
Wang Wook was married to Lady Hae Myung-hee (played by Park Si-eun), but he falls in love with Hae-soo. Although hiding his true feelings for anyone other than his wife is an act of infidelity, his wife seems to accept what he feels for Hae-soo.
This three-part miniseries is short for a Korean drama series, but it’s packed with romance, drama, tears, and pain through its story of forbidden love.
Based on a true story, this K-drama centers on the love affair between playwright Kim Woo-jin (played by Lee Jong-suk) and Yun Sim-deok (played by Shin Hye-sun).
Despite their poor first impressions of each other, the two develop strong feelings when they later meet. The moment she finds out the man she loves is a married man is heartbreaking.
The Penthouse: War in Life offers elitism, money and power. At the beginning of the series, infidelity is not emphasized much; it comes up later when infidelity is linked to a crime.
Cheon Seo-jin (played by Kim So-yeon) and Joo Dan-tae (played by Um Ki-joon) have a love affair while married to their respective partners Ha Yoon-cheol (played by Yoon Jong-hoon) Shim Su-ryeon (played by Lee Ji-ah).
Their affair brings plenty of twists and turns to the story, giving us victims who stand their ground and traitors who get what they deserve. The tension builds with each episode, but luckily there are characters who add a touch of comedic relief.
Han Sun-joo (played by Song Yoon-ah) believes she is leading the perfect married life, but her husband Shin Myung-seob (played by Lee Sung-jae) is hiding a secret that this series full of mysteries contains.
The character developments add depth to the story and make it more intriguing as the mysteries begin to be revealed.
What hits hardest and darkest in Show Window: The Queen’s House is how the main character supports the mistress of the love affair, unaware that she is the victim of that very relationship.
The World of the Married has one of the most intense and intriguing romantic plots in modern K-drama, starring a husband and wife who are both unfaithful and embark on love affairs of their own.
The husband, Lee Tae-oh (played by Park Hae-joon), was the first to betray their marriage. The woman, Ji Seon-u (played by Kim Hee-ae), followed later, but with a hidden motive.
As the characters exploit their situation for their personal interest, the story becomes twisted and complex with mysteries, doubts and unshakeable emotions.
With their relationships ruined and they now struggling to move on from their past, will the characters be able to live on?